Advent Reading: Heb. 11:17-19 (underlined below)
Promise Made | Abraham laughed when God said that he would be “the father of a multitude of nations” . After all, he was 99 years old and his wife was 98 and barren. Nevertheless, God insisted, “Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his offspring” . A year later, Isaac was born and they rejoiced. When he was a child, however, God told Abraham, “Take your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering” . How could this be? Hadn’t God promised to make a nation through Isaac? Yet, Abraham obeyed and prepared Isaac for sacrifice. As Abraham raised his knife, however, God stopped him: “Do not lay your hand on the boy … for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from me” . God then sent a sacrificial lamb and Abraham named the place, “The Lord will provide” . Yet, Isaac remained their only son – hardly “a multitude of nations.”
Promise Kept | God didn’t forget His promise. First, He told Solomon to build the Temple – where all sacrifices, including the Passover Lamb, were to be slaughtered – in the land of Moriah, where Isaac was spared . Then, a thousand years later, one of Abraham’s descendants – Jesus – was born as the only Son of the Father. Then, in his thirties, he was taken to Jerusalem – in Moriah – to be sacrificed as the Passover Lamb.
Promise Meant | In Jesus, God provided. He opened the way for anyone to become Abraham’s child and heir. Today, Abraham’s children are those who trust God – even in confusing circumstances: “By faith Abraham … who had received the promises, was offering up his only begotten son … He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead” . Indeed, God raised Jesus from the dead “that the world might be saved through him” .
Prayer | Lord, In Jesus, we are Abraham’s descendants and heirs of the promise. Therefore, strengthen our faith in him as the fulfillment of your promises. Give us the faith of our father Abraham, who – in the midst of confusing circumstances – trusted in you so much that he reasoned that you could do the impossible – raise his precious son from the dead. Amen.
What is the non-advent reading for today? 2 Kings 12-13 and 2 Chron. 24
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